PBPP: Vancouver matchup looms large for Union
While the return of Sebastien Le Toux is the big headline and story, for the Union, their only care is finding a way to pick up three points in the standings.
From a defensive standpoint, last week's effort vs Chicago was better than the previous two games, but the offense couldn't get on track on the road against the Fire.
On Saturday at PPL Park, the Union attack will have to execute at their best in order to beat a surprising Vancouver team who come in with a 2-0-1 record after three games.
The Whitecaps have improved from a defensive standpoint. New head coach Martin Rennie has brought in experienced defenders like Young-Pyo Lee and Martin Bonjour to anchor the team in front of returning veteran goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
Early results show three games played and three shutouts, compared to six goals allowed over a similar period in 2011.
One would think that Vancouver may want to play a bit on the cautious side in this game. They are missing two key players due to injury, Eric Hassli and Alan Rochat. Plus, they are on the road versus a team that will be playing with some urgency in an attempt to jumpstart their season. It might be better to sit back a little and hope to catch the Union on a counter attack.
As for the Union, with Le Toux coming in and all the talk about this game, one would think that one key would be channeling your emotions. It could feel like a playoff game at PPL Park, and for that reason it's important to be calm and focused. You don't have to win the game in the first five or 10 minutes.
The Union need a good game from Zac MacMath in goal. He's coming off of his best game so far in 2012. In addition, who will step up to lead the offense? For all of the possession they had in the Chicago game, the team only generated two shots on goal, and both of those were off free kicks from Gabriel Gomez. They had no shots on goal during the run of play. Lionard Pajoy looks like he can be a solid striker in this league, but he needs a supply of the ball. Maybe versus Vancouver we'll get to see him at his best.
We'll have the game for you on 6abc starting at 3:30 p.m. with the pre-game show.